American Marine Ltd Boatyard, December 1963 and recent developments at Hang Hau, Junk Bay

Tom Bethea: My cousin Dick Holt and I spent a week aboard schooner Westward in early December 1963, moored off American Marine Ltd, in Junk Bay, Hang Hau. We then removed to Kowloon Docks for several weeks in dry dock for hull re-painting and re-rigging above deck, and finally tied up at HK Royal Yacht Club for the Christmas-New Years holiday before departing the crown colony the first week of January 1964, for Singapore, and points west.

American Marine Ltd’s waterfront 12/1963

American Marine Ltd, Hang Hau

Junk Bay and Hang Hau Image 2

Hang Hau Harbor (Junk Bay)

I recall the small settlement of Hang Hau as being more than an hour east of downtown Kowloon by city bus, a thin strip of humble buildings along the north shore of Junk Bay, many locals living aboard junks.

Hang Hau Downtown

Schooner Westward, delivered 1960 to Drayton Cochran of New York by Abeking & Rasmussen of Bremen, sailed from the Med to Acapulco, through the Panama Canal, winter 1961-62; from Acapulco across the Pacific to Hong Kong, winter 1962-63; and from Hong Kong to Piraeus, winter 1963-64. Transferred a few years later to Sea Education Associates, of Woods Hole, MA, as a student training ship.

Junk Bay Anchorage

I was able to return to Hong Kong the summer of 1970, and again in early 1983, and most recently, early 2015, and have found myself mightily impressed on each visit by the pace at which the whole area has modernized and industrialized. For example, our 1963 bus trip from Kowloon to Hang Hau, which took 90 minutes and dropped us (after dark) at a dusty sign-less, turn-around has been replaced by a seven- or eight-minute ride on a modern subway, from which one emerges into a bustling high-rise suburb, and unrecognizable Junk Bar shoreline.

Hang Hau Sta

Hang Hau Subway Courtyard

Hang Hau Waterfront A

Hang Hau Waterfront B

This article was first posted on 5th April 2023,

Related Indhhk articles:

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  3. American Marine shipyard, Sea Witch yacht construction images


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